Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hymns of Special Meaning

Ruth asked me to post five hymns that have meant something significant in my life, and I really tried to follow the rules. I went through the hymn book and I was strict with myself. "Only the really important ones," I told myself firmly. I ended up with a list of 43. This wasn't going to be easy! Back to the drawing board. I thought hard about what was really important to me, why hymns touch me so much.

I realized that for me, it is all about a relationship with the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). There is a song called "Happiness Is the Lord" that has the line, "Real joy is mine, no matter if teardrops start, I've found the secret, it's Jesus in my heart," that kind of sums up my religious philosophy. I know a lot of people are Christians because they want to go to heaven some day, but I gotta tell you, even if we just lived and died here with no hope of anything after that, I would still be a Christian. When I was a child, I discovered that Jesus loves me and and I made a choice to put my hand in His. My life hasn't always been easy, far from it at times; but it HAS always been joyful! I believe what God says in His Word, because Jesus is the Word, and I trust Him completely; plus He sent the Comforter to help me understand it.

Hymns have always helped me remember the gospel, exhorted me to live it, given me a way to praise Him, comforted me when I was scared, and given me HOPE! I have narrowed it down to 12 choices, and I'm afraid that's the best I can do! I will not attempt to put the words to the hymns here, but I have linked to the lyrics.

"Jesus Loves Me" was the first song I learned as a tiny Christian. It gave me the gospel in a nutshell, and taught me to trust Jesus and believe the Bible.

I learned "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" first at church, then to a different tune at church camp. It was very comforting to know I had a Friend I could depend on, that was always there for me even when others had let me down badly.

"Trust and Obey"and "Count Your Blessings" are songs that taught me how to live as a Christian, and shaped my reaction to things that happened in my life. The only thing that puzzled me is the part in "Trust and Obey" where it says "I will walk by His side in the way." I always wondered if I shouldn't get out of the way!

My mother called "Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul" my song. She'd play it for me on the piano, my sister would sing harmony, and it is the one song I would belt out confidently!

"He Lives" resonates with me because my heart is so full of the love and presence of Jesus in my life and heart. He is a very real Person to me, Friend and Savior.

"Love Lifted Me" is all about salvation, and though I felt the presence of God from a very young age, I still made a conscious choice to accept Him in to my heart. I was very aware of how lost I was without Him, and trusted Him completely to save me.

Once I was saved, I loved the praise songs, such as "Praise Him! Praise Him!" and "He Keeps Me Singing." Great is His Name and Greatly to be praised!

We had an amazing piano player in our church, a lady by the name of Alice Mayhew. A beautiful, godly woman, and a professional piano player that could make you feel like you were already in heaven! I loved when she played "Wonderful Grace of Jesus," and then everyone would begin singing, and it was so rolling and majestic, the men and women singing different parts that gave it a richness that made me feel like my heart was going to come out of my chest and float up to heaven on its own!

"It Is Well With My Soul" is a beautiful song that always makes me cry, and that's before I had even heard the story behind it! It is a sad, beautiful, soul-stirring story of the trust a bereaved father had in his Lord and Savior even after his children had been drowned while coming by ship to join him. The story is here.

"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," besides being stunningly beautiful all on its own, also has a great deal of meaning to me, because this is one of the early songs my youngest son learned to play on the piano, and it's one we share a fondness for.

You can click on the names of the hymns to go to a page with lyrics and/or tunes. I pray God has richly blessed the writers of the hymns that give testimony, admonition, guidance, hope and praise to His Holy Name! They have been a rich source of blessings, teachings and strength to me in my Christian walk. And now I hope they will be a blessing to you!


Cherdecor said...

I loved this post! I loved reading your thoughts about your relationship with the Lord.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

We love all those Hymns. They're all inspirational and our favorites too. ♥ ∞

Sassy Granny ... said...

Incredible how certain songs grip our very souls. I like the ones you picked, especially "It is Well With My Soul". It always makes me cry.


Tammie @ Are You For Real? said...

You know? I was JUST telling my friend that I have been so moved by the words of our old hymns lately. There is such a richness of wisdom stored in them.

Colossians 3:16 says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Those hymn writers of old got it right when they wrote those beautiful songs ... because they are filled with teaching and wisdom.

rhymeswithplague said...

Tracie, this is a wonderful post! The sweetness of your walk with Jesus is evident. I know every single one of those hymns, probably because I have been a church pianist or organist since I was 13 (and that was over 50 years ago). It was a great way to be exposed to new songs and different hymnals.

Connie said...

All very excellent I have Joyful, Joyful...stuck in my brain and that is a great song for that purpose!!!!

steviewren said...

As I read the name of each hymn the tune and lyrics would start playing in my head. Great choices. In The Garden has always been one of my favorites too.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I wrote a response yesterday. I promise. Word verification must have been the problem.

What I said (I think) was that you mentioned some that are very dear to me but didn't make it into my meme:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Trust and Obey
It Is Well with my Soul
Joyful, Joyful We adore thee

And you didn't go over as much as you think. The meme was to name ten, not five.

Good play. Thanks for doing this.

Betsy said...

Love all of your choices! :)

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